Phillipines Fights Terrorist Threat

BALOBO, Philippines?While the United States wages war in Afghanistan, the Philippines is fighting its own terrorist enemy and claiming progress.

Now, as part of its global campaign against terrorism, Washington is ready to provide military training and equipment to help its longtime ally step up efforts to crush the small Abu Sayyaf movement, which has been linked to Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network.

Details of the aid are expected to emerge after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo meets with President Bush at the White House on Tuesday.

The militant Muslims of Abu Sayyaf have been tied to a string of killings, kidnappings, bombings and other violence in the southern Philippines, which is a crushingly poor home for about 5 million Muslims in the exceptionally Roman Catholic country.

In the most recent incident, the guerrillas kidnapped 32 people during an Aug. 2 attack on Balobo.